Avoid Fake Intimacy With Your Caseload Donor
“True connection is a frightening prospect,” Seth Godin explained in his blog. “... Far easier, of course, to do something more shallow.”
This got me thinking about all of my relationships and what steps I could take to be more real in each of them. My focus has been on aligning who I really am to what I am projecting, saying what I am thinking and getting better at listening. I have made progress. But being fake and superficial is a hard thing to change.
Godin’s blog also got me thinking about the relationship you have with your caseload donor. That donor is sitting there on the caseload as a potential economic unit, able to contribute to your personal success this year if you can persuade that donor to part with their money.
And that’s the problem. We often regard a donor as an economic unit versus a human being — a human being with a longing to make a difference in our hurting planet. And that donor has turned to you as a partner in doing good to make a difference.
Will the donor find, in you, a trusted partner? Or, will you just use that donor to your economic ends?
Be careful that you don’t succumb to the temptation to engage in fake intimacy so you can achieve your objectives.
Instead, before you make that call or show up for that visit or write that email or text — or contact the donor in any way — ask yourself this question: “Will what I do or communicate now help this donor fulfill the longing she has to make a difference?” If your answer is “yes,” move ahead.
If your answer is “no,” then stop and regroup. Reorder your tactics and strategy so that your donor’s interests and passions become the primary focus of your activity. Believe me, if you do that right, you will also get the money.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.